tv Q A CSPAN April 15, 2013 5:50am-6:50am EDT
save the day. ok. they might. but well we are here why don't we make sure the law catches up with the fourth amendment? >> does the government need a war and to read your e-mails? tonight on "the communicators." >> this week on "q&a," a talk with participants in the 2013 united states youth program held in washington d.c. >> give us your name, city, and, what are we doing here today. >> my name is olivia. i reside in new york. this whole week has been about celebrating the creative and academic minds of the 100 top students in america and the department of defense school. enjoy our nation's capital and
to meet the brilliant politicians, world renowned leaders, and enjoy each other's company. >> same to you. >> i am from vermont. this week has been a also about getting an inside look about the government, the people inside it of all walks, whether it is a nasa and administrator, or president obama, and understand who they are in a personal sense, and also understanding what they do. >> this is a united states senate youth program sponsored by a famous magazine and newspaper company. what has been the most exciting thing for you? >> yesterday, meeting president obama. when he walked into the room, the energy and excitement and his power was palpable. you could feel it and see it and everyone's eyes. we were worried we would pass out. was amazing. >> what about you? >> president obama is hard to top. also, some of the senators we
saw. they were fantastic. obama was definitely number 1. >> one more question of you two and we will go to some of the rest. how were you picked to come here? >> from your state, you would start out with a basic essay. you fill out an application process, your credentials, resume, and letters. then they deliver it and pick winners. >> my application required a series of essays, teacher recommendations, and an interview in the capital. then they made the selection in early november. >> there is another question you have to give a speech to all these folks at your closing banquet. why are you giving a speech and give us 10 seconds of what you will tell them.
>> i have no idea what i will be talking about. [laughter] hopefully, it will be a good reflection of today and everybody's experiences. >> olivia? >> likewise, i was selected by my fellow peers here. i think my speech will mainly be about remembering where you came from, what you learn today, and how you can apply it in the future. >> thank you very much for taking this thing off. we have 104 students in the room. we will move around a bit and ask others in here, first of all, tell us what you have learned this week. we know you met with the president. you met with elena kagan from the supreme court, senator burr, the senator from new hampshire, and lots of other folks. put your hand up and tell us a little bit about your week and what you have learned more than anything. we will start over here. >> hi. i am a delegate from
massachusetts. i learned this week humanizing politics is. it is about people that really interact and we learned we can do this. we are all capable of being leaders of our country. it is about working together and finding common ground about anything where you can work together that makes this country work. >> besides the president, who most impressed you? >> i was very much impressed by justice elena kagan. we were seated in the supreme court in the gallery. she came over and talked to us for two hours with the supreme court behind us and she was able to connect with all of us and was really funny. >> one thing you learned about the supreme court that you did not know before you got there? >> i did not know how personal
it is. how they all talk to each other. they decide some of the biggest cases in the world. she was saying she goes hunting with justice scalia, which is pretty funny to think about. >> it could be dangerous, too. [laughter] >> hello. i am from wyoming. most beneficial thing i learned here is not so much from meeting with the people, but meeting with the students here. there is so much diversity and so many different ideas and brilliant students here. we do not have the diversity and sheer amount of talent in wyoming. to see their regional differences and put it together and get all the mines together and discuss inside access and look at the way politics and u.s. government works has really been beneficial and a great
experience. >> besides elena kagan and barack obama, who impressed you the most? >> i have to say when my state senators came to meet with my fellow delegates on wednesday, that was one of the best experiences. by senator was very friendly. i thank them for coming and spending time with us and talking with us and when they had to go to meetings, they left we got every question and answer. there were very polite and it was a great experience. >> what did you learn specifically that you did not know before you met them? >> what i did not know about our senators was just how connected they are to wyoming. here in washington d.c., you do not really think a senator from wyoming has a big impact. you realize they truly are wyoming people.
they come every weekend on commercial flights. i appreciated it and had a better connection to my state. >> put your hand quickly, who in this room at the president a question when you met with him. there were three questions. where is the third? thank you. i want to get around to you and ask you what your question was and what his answer was. you had your hand up. >> i did not. i am sorry. [laughter] >> why did you get involved in this? >> i wanted to learn more about the federal government. i had a perception the federal government only pertain to political-minded people. what i learned this week is that the federal government includes a broad range of careers, including mathematics, which is what i am interested in.
the federal government needs a lot of people like me who are interested in engineering and math and science. >> why are you interested in engineering? >> i believe it is the future of america. as we rise up in the world, competing with japan and other nations, it will put us at the forefront. >> what did you learn this week? >> i learned how humble the officials in the federal government are. we see them on tv all the time. they give speeches and everything. to know what they are like on a personal level, how humble they are and their roots and where they come from. >> anybody particular stood out you enjoy meeting? >> yesterday, i had lunch to meet with my senator. i was very happy when he showed up for lunch. he is a very humble guy. we come from different political parties and have different views, but he is humble and we
had a lot of similarities. after hearing him talk, it made me rethink how i think about >> of the questioners of the president on thursday afternoon, where are you? one here. what is your name? >> i am from illinois. >> what did you ask him? >> i asked him what personal skill and leadership quality he possessed. >> what did he tell you? >> his answer was persistence. he said many of us have enormous goals we want to none of these will be achieved easily and we cannot set a deadline on when we want to achieve our dreams and goals. we have to be patient and not allow ourselves to be frustrated. >> when did you decide you would try to ask him a question and when did you decide what you would ask? >> we were waiting for them to take a picture of us and i
realized i had not asked a question yet. while we were waiting there, i decided to think of a question. that was the first one that came to mind. >> where is the other young lady? what is your name over here so people can see you? >> i am from rhode island. >> what did you ask the president? >> i asked if he had advice for us as young leaders coming into the world of politics and business in the next few years. i wrote down what he said. he said you follow your passions and do good in what area you are at and not always look toward the ending. and not try to be about, i will be senator. think about doing good in the immediate. >> what was it like getting to ask the president a question? >> really surreal. >> why? >> i love president obama. [laughter]
>> the third questioner, what is your name and where are you from? >> i am one of the delegates from the state of iowa. i asked if president obama could pass any legislation without ramifications, what would he pass and why? >> he said immigration reform because he thinks it is important. he also thinks there is a decent chance he will pass that sometime in the future. he thought maybe using his wish for more long-term, like a bill for clean energy. >> did you have to clear your question with anybody? >> no. when you are in a group like this with highest achieving people with political ambition and making a difference, you do not need to. everyone tries to pull
themselves up to that same standard when they meet the president. >> let me change the question to you all. general question. i do not like the question but it gets to the point. what might have surprised you this week about coming to washington? how many of you, this is your first trip to washington ever? a lot of you have been here before. you are first time. what surprised you this week? >> i am from idaho. it really surprised me how safe i feel in this big city. i am from a small town. big cities have always been a scary thought. you always feel you are not safe and them. i feel very safe in our capital city. it is beautiful here.
i love all of the beautiful architecture and all of the buildings that surround you. it is very amazing and surreal to be here. i love it here. it is beautiful. >> how about you? >> i am from new hampshire. >> the politicians are real. we see them and the newspapers and on tv and it seems like they are far away figures. being able to talk to them is humbling. it was great. >> anybody else close by here? yes, ma'am. >> i am from kentucky. i have never been here and i am not comfortable with city spirit is so majestic here and everything is so grand. when we went to the capital, i have been to frankfurt, my state's capital. it does not compare to the
nation pauses capital. it is so overwhelmingly beautiful. the architecture and the people. i have got the bed next to the window. i open the window and look at the people and think, look at the people. >> how did you get here? go back the last couple of years in your school. what got you interested in coming here and getting involved in politics? >> i remember in october thinking, you know, i should be interested in politics. i started doing research and i started watching c-span. hello. i started reading the newspaper and reading online and found that i am going to vote in two years and it is important to know what i am doing and i should have been interested so much earlier. but my guidance counselor, nobody knew this program was a school. my guidance counselor said, i have a test of want you to take. you might get to go to washington. i said ok. i will take it and i probably will not get in. i took it filled out an application and that was it. >> let's turn to the future.
one of the things a lot of what you all set was very nice and heartwarming and all that. your leaders in this town, your parents, keep talking about the future and wering about their children and their grandchildren. it is something they talk about all the time. they keep saying they are worried about you. i would ask, do you think they really are worried about you and are you worried about yourself and what do you think the future will be like? where are you from and what is your name? >> i am abby and i am from annapolis, maryland. there is a quote that goes something like, those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that can and do. i am sure we walked into the
country thinking we were the crazy ones, but now we are more enlightened. i know personally i will not wake up 20 years from now and say, my generation will be in trouble because i know we will be on top of it. i know a lot of people are worried about our generation but i think we have enough future to get things done. >> i am not sure people are right about your generation as much as my generation making life better for your generation. >> right. and we are coming into office shortly and it is good we have solid role models. a lot of the people we met this week are those solid role models we needed to see. >> who do you remember? >> i probably remember most justice kagan. i have seen a lot of elected officials. i have not really seen that so it rivulet nice to get to see it. >> a hand was up or repair? where are you from?
>> i'm from arkansas. a lot of people do not get to see what various tv stations report about. there is a lot of bipartisanship going on in washington not reported on. we spoke with multiple centers that had lunch with the president's just a few weeks ago. just a week ago. republican senators, 12 leading republican senators. the president talked about how he was really happy to work with the senate and all the republican senators noted a lack of partisanship on both sides. i think in terms of what is going on right now, i think it will start getting a lot better. everyone made note of how gridlocked it had gotten and how much they are trying to change that. i really do think being in this program, my roommate is from maine and i am from arkansas, there was a bunch of cultural
shock to get used to it showed you the other guy is not trying to hurt the nation. i think programs like this and growing up with leadership, has almost told us how not to lead when it comes to gridlock. when we are there, there will be a lot more compromise. >> i want to know what the cultural shock is between someone from maine and someone from arkansas. >> that would be, i was telling him how -- this is funny because it will my mind -- we were talking about -- we were at a fancy dinner and there was a woman sitting next to you. usually when she excuses herself to go to the rest room, i would stand.
he said, i have never heard of that. i was like, i would get slapped in the back of my head if i did not do that. [laughter] they also said at a lot of their jobs, they were told not to say, yes, ma'am. i would say yes, man, to a 13- year-old because she is a woman. that is cultural shock. >> my mother is born in arkansas. now i know where it came from. [laughter] hands up. i want to ask this young lady over here from my home state. give us your full name? >> emma hong from indiana. i am very optimistic about the future. to be honest, before this program, i rise really not that optimistic about the future because all the media shows is the-aspects. this program made us all more optimistic about the future and more positive about where our country is going. >> you are not concerned? >> well, i am still concerned. i think it really shows how our
politicians are trying to work together and how hard they truly work in trying to reach a compromise and solving these extremely difficult problems. >> we have got to get the other hoosier in here. turnarounds a vacancy. this is nicholas. he is named after the former governor daniels. >> not quite. [laughter] >> we get a sense of your politics there. >> i think it is pretty bright. the fact of the matter is, every day they are working together. justice kagan goes hunting with justice scalia. >> is the bottom line of that that every member of the supreme court ought to go hunting with one another? >> hunting is a big thing where i am from.
but, you know. [laughter] andeans you need to talk get on a human level and we all do better when we all do better. >> thank you. who else? who wants to talk about the future? and where you see it going? >> hello. i am the delegate from washington d.c. as we have been discussing, you see a lot of polarization on tv. it is mostly coming from the political people who are career politicians care those are the people less focused on the interests of people and less focused on the humanity behind it, versus what we saw from the people from tennessee. they made a good point that it is not about politics but about policy. it is about making sure we benefit people at the end of the day. regardless whether you are a republican or democrat, it is about what we can do for the nation.
that gives us a lot of hope. >> allow people mentioned the media. what you think the impact of the way it operates on the country is? >> it polarizes people. makes it seem like people are so much, you have to be the republican or democrat. you cannot be anything in between. it means people try to force themselves in one category based on their political affiliation, rather than what they actually believe is best for the country. >> you live in a place that is 90% democrat. how do you think those 10% people feel? >> they must feel alienated. there was one person who voted for mitt romney and i cannot tell if it was a joke. [laughter] >> i am from georgia. i want to talk about leadership and bring up one of my friends who is a very strong republican and i am a very strong democrat. this week, we're able to become close friends. that really showed me how amazing it is.
our generation has such partisanship. we have a way to work together that is not parallel before. us working together is something i never think other members of congress could do, but it is happening right now. that shows a bright future. >> for a moment, think you do not have to go back, and have people vote for you. with that change your relationship? >> i would say no. she looks pretty bright. she might be in the senate in a few years. i am getting ready for working with her. we will see. >> please give us your name. >> i am from gainesville, florida. >> you get along? >> it is true. >> why are you republican? that's because i believe in our country's founding principles, such as limited government and
lower taxes. i feel conservatism is back more by facts and logic and liberalism is back more by idealistic views and emotion. i think the logical and more factual basis for your political views is a better way to establish your political views. i focus more on fiscal issues than social issues. i think conservatism works for our economy and business. >> what about your future? what do you think? >> i am concerned about the future of our country. i think it is really important for our current leaders to make incredible spending cuts. right now, government spending is out of control. for our generation to have a prosperous future and not turn into greed, we need to cut spending drastically. >> for somebody who wants to make a comment, hands up. [laughter] i want to get as many new people as possible.
>> i am julian from west virginia. speaking to the reference of how i feel about the future, i feel like president obama summoned a purpose. he was saying our country has always been in turmoil throughout its history but we have always found a way to get through it. i am not saying i am not worried about the future, but i look around this room and see 103 mines who want to make a difference for this country and want to do good. there is plenty of other people of our age who want to make a difference and do good. i believe we will be able to solve the problems we face today. >> did you exclude your own mind from that number? there are 104 people in this room. >> no. [laughter] >> hello. i am from maine. as jason's right, people from maine are very polite and not
rude at all. [laughter] i would like to challenge anyone who thinks otherwise to visit our state. i think about our future. the best thing i found out by coming to washington was that our elected officials are very hopeful and they really do believe in the young america. that was very inspiring for me as someone who wants to go into public service. i also found it inspiring how amazing everyone else in this program is. there are 104 kids here who want to make it divots and are intelligent and want to change the world. we are not the only ones. that was very inspiring. >> what makes you sure there are more than 104 kids in america? >> there could be only two from each state. i am sure if the foundation could support more than that, they would be able to. >> this is not a fashion show.
i have to ask the and i have seen a number of these today. is this a new trend, the bow ties? >> because i am wearing it, of course. [laughter] >> i am from texas. if you want true southern hospitality, texas is where you find that. >> texas is a southern state? >> yes, sir. very proud of that. going off of what they are saying, 1% was meaningful in what they had to say. the senator, burr, he compared politics to the process of making sausages. it does not look beautiful but the end process is always worth it. what president obama spoke to us about yesterday is that sometimes we do not see the bipartisan politics. but in the end, the strongest country, we have been it since our founding, and we will continue to be that way because democracy works and it is not always the most beautiful process but i am proud to say i
am an american. >> why did you get involved in this program? >> i got involved in this and apply for this because i think public service, whether you volunteer for your community, whether you work in your mayor's office, or you are an intern in your state capital, that it is one of the greatest privileges you can do to the public. that is why it interests me. >> you go to your high school and have your friends there and say, how many of them will be interested in the fact you were here for a week and saw these political folks? >> not many. i think we can all agree with this number. i posed on facebook. i met the justice and that did not mean anything to them. >> i tried to express it affects them not only at this level.
the city council, that affects what you do on a daily basis, the taxes you pay, the police force, so i really tried to engage people more on the city level and the reward of doing stuff for public service, you get to do great stuff like this and we can meet president obama, e amazing food, eat dinner next to the constitution at the archives, and have need experiences. it pays off. >> you were at the national archives. would you like to turn around so we can see you? where are you from and what is your name? >> my name is alexandra shilko. i am from minnesota. >> what do you think of the week so far? >> it is surreal, mind blowing what we are seeing, so many places we are going to. this is our nation's capital. i am so proud of my country. our buildings, our capital, our white house, everything does it justice to this amazing country. it inspires me. the senator burr says he believes his title of "dad" is much more important to him than the title of "senator." he is always trying to do what is best for his children. that is something i am proud of that our
think like that. i am also worried that there are people on both sides of the political spectrum trying to do that. the ways of doing that are so different from each other. they have noble end goals but we cannot agree how to get there. we are all trying for the same thing. >> we are in the middle of a ballroom at the mayflower hotel
in downtown washington d.c. this is the hotel where j. edgar hoover used to have lunch every day. that is why they named the restaurant down there edgars. and i need to tell our audience far away from here that this is the united states senate youth program and george is over here from the hearst foundation. why do you find this? >> it should be obvious from looking around the room. we fund it because we know these individuals, these 104
students, will make a difference in this country. you look at the past students who participate in the program, people like senator susan collins who said, if it were not for this one week in my life, just this one week, this little girl from maine would never have become a u.s. senator. it is a wonderful program and it is making a difference in the lives of a lot of people. >> funded by private business, private industry, a private foundation for public relations, with a relationship in the united states senate, it will sound-but i want to go. all of you have said nice things about being here. when you think, feel, that a politician is not telling the truth? a hand went up very quickly. >> my name is take that and i am from bethesda, maryland. i think politicians are usually
not telling the truth when they do not really get too specific. a lot of times, they will kind of talk around the issue and talk more about the spirit of america, which is obviously strong. sometimes, when they get to these cliches, they are trying to avoid getting to the point and talking about the specifics of their legislation and exactly how they will fix problems in the budget or a social issue or whatever. >> did you hear anybody this week use a cliche? >> it is hard to avoid cliches. everyone talks in cliches. when you rely on them more than just say them in a passing kind of way, that is when you are not really getting down to the truth. >> you did not buy everything that everybody told you this week? >> the cliches are true. the spirit of america is strong. you can see it in this room. everyone wants to make it better for the next generation. they are not getting down to the
specifics of times of how they will achieve their goals and how we can make the debt lower. >> the gentleman over here had his hand up immediately. your name? >> my name is jason and i'm from connecticut. i found there were a few people from both sides, when asking questions, they were not as candid as they were when they felt more comfortable talking about other things. is important to talk about it was not just democrats or republicans. it was both sides. i like that jacob talked about, often times, it is darting around the issue. when it came to the toughest
questions, at they were not always the most direct answers. at no point did i filled out was lied to. a very tough question was asked, you would sometimes get an answer that was more the general idea rather than how the bill would get passed through congress, how would something actually be put into law. i think there is a contrast there. >> why did you come this week? what got you interested? >> believe it or not, i had never heard of this program before my government teacher told me that it was something i might want to apply for. initially i thought, it is really competitive and i do not
think i will do it. when i found out there was an opportunity to meet president obama, that is when i decided to apply. one thing led to another and here i am. it has been the best week of my life, not just because i got to be the president, but as of the one noted, i am standing with 103 others, and our military people, some of the best people this country has to offer from every state. >> you spent 25 minutes with the president. he kept you waiting for an hour. what is the one thing you will remember decide something he said to you? >> his presence. i noticed before he started talking about politics or talk about leadership, where i was standing at the white house, i was up on one of the bleachers. i could not actually see him as he was walking down a hall to come see us. i noticed there was a moment where he said, how are you all doing? i did not see him but i heard him. even though i could not see him, his presence was felt by me immediately. >> i can see you are not
definite about how you feel about meeting the president of the united states. [laughter] we have got some folks over here. on the fringes. your name, where you from? not politically on the fringe, but seated on the fringe. >> i am from hawaii. >> how can you tell when someone is not telling you the truth? >> when someone is not telling the truth, i feel as though they are, how do you say this -- i feel as though politicians should not keep secrets. it is almost as if they are lying to the public and they should be serving the public. there are many issues that are confidential. decisions have not been made yet. at the same time, we deserve answers for all questions we have because -- especially the youth.
many challenges, we will face them in the future. we deserve to know what challenges we have already addressed and how we can move toward with what we have. >> anybody not telling you the truth this week? >> i do. i do not want to mention names. >> what a nice group this is. [laughter] >> we are not all politicians yet. [laughter] >> in case you did not hear that, we are not all politicians yet. >> there is a balance. in every situation, i tend to be a little more positive. many of the more positive speakers who are really direct with us and gave us the answers, they truly influenced me more than the speakers who were in iraq and did not get the
answers. i appreciated that. >> did you have your hand up? why do you not stand up so we can see you? your name and where you are from? >> i am from montana. >> what about this week? anybody not tell you the truth? >> we heard from several senators who told us that bipartisanship was working very well. then we heard from the congressman who said there was no bipartisanship going on, really. part of me things they are all telling the truth. it is easier to get 100 people to agree on a single subject than 435. i am honestly not sure. i believe that they all have the same concept, that they want what is best for america. although they do not always go about it in the best way, it is that their heart. >> one of the things we hear a lot of is that history is not being taught in schools around the united states.
i do not know. i have not been in school for a while. i would like to ask anybody in this room who has a teacher that you have had -- the hands went up fast there -- that you would like to tell us about, dispelling the feeling a lot of adults have that you do not get history. we will have to move fast on this one. who are you? >> my name is cindy. i am from las vegas, nevada. i have had two very influential teachers in my social studies department at my school. my ap u.s. history teacher. she was amazing in teaching the foundations of what this nation was built on and the ideas that build our nation up and the history that went along with all the events throughout our u.s. history. this year, i was influenced by my teacher, my government teacher.
he opened the door to the rest of my life in government. he opened the door to pursue the life of public service. >> do you think you will get an a? >> i have one from working hard and paying attention in class. >> everybody has their hand up. >> i am from california. one of my 10th grade u.s. history teachers, mr. thompson, really inspired me to consider both sides of the political spectrum here in california, a very liberal state where many of my classmates are extremely liberal, we are learning about ronald reagan.
though i come from california, a lot of my classmates were averse to his policies. mr. thomas was able to have us look at both sides of what he did well and what he could have improved on. when i came to the youth program and found out we were meeting with the senate historian, i was so excited. i was e-mailing mr. thompson asking him if there were any questions he had. we kept in touch in that way and he really inspired me to not only think about the future of our nation but the past and how to move forward in that way. >> have you ever thought about going into television with that voice? >> not really. i like to talk to myself sometimes. [laughter] >> all right. who else has a teachers story? >> hello. my name is jacob. i go to a high school in michigan. my u.s. history and ap
government teacher. one of the things she taught me is, there is always a direct application to my life. there are still relevant, important topics to learn about. that is why i am so interested. there is always something you can apply these situations to. also, she teaches us political stability and bipartisanship and makes it her goal to not tell us what side of the spectrum she is on. i have been trying to find out. she speaks to us in a non partisanship way. >> why do you want to know what she really thinks? >> she makes such a goal not to tell us, so i really want to find out. i do not want to say it would go against her mission, but it is a challenge to me. >> i am from illinois. there are a whole lot of teachers who have helped me a lot. my eighth grade teacher, government. two teachers who got me here today, my ap literature teacher. i was not confident i would get picked, but they really helped
met with my essay in keeping optimistic about getting hit. i did a lot of facebook posts and hopefully they will see this and i want to thank them personally. they have helped immensely when getting here and i have been in constant contact with them this entire week. >> i am from bob jones high school in alabama. i would like to say i did not like history and elementary school. throughout the middle school. in eighth grade, i had a teacher who really made history fun. she tied everything together that is what got me interested in the first place. just like one of my fellow delegates, two teachers to inflict the most, my ap government teacher. it was never a lecture. we never got a lecture from her. it was always a discussion.
it was, why. she would ask us questions and we would give an answer and it was never about what happened in history but why it happened and how it is important for us today. ap government, he did talk a lot. i love that class. it is by far my favorite class i have ever taken. we spend 45 minutes of an hour and a half class talking about current events. the matter which one anyone brought up, we will challenge him sometimes and he would always tie it back to the u.s. government. i think learning everything is applicable to government, i read articles and say, i learned that in class. that is imported. some students think history is useless. it is not. everything can be tied to real life.
>> yes, ma'am. did don teach you anything, the historian of the senate? >> yes. he knows so much about so many things. when we ask them questions, he was able to answer them. i am from vermont. he has a way of making history interesting, something many people believe it's not, even when we are studying the french revolution, he connected to wall street today and our history. he really connect with each student and makes us believe what he is teaching us is important. studying history is important for all of us as we move on to the future. >> when you know you have a bad teacher? >> when students are not engaged and do not enjoy class. i think a good teacher can make any subject interesting. that is what he does. >> people who have teachers you
want to talk about? we could do this all day. >> my name is johnathan young from oklahoma. my teacher is my history and government teacher. he introduced me to this program. one thing he always likes to tell his class is there are many sides to the story and there are people involved. it kind of puts perspective to it. he always tries to be in the middle and does not try to make a partisan. he is an independent. he likes to show both sides of the story as they are. >> have you ever had a teacher who tried to get you to think about it their way? >> yes. they always have that influence. it influenced the way they taught. >> i am from new hampshire. i would not be here without the
help of my teacher. she is opinionated. i had for two years. what was wonderful about her is that she did not care what you thought. she wanted to debate. she wanted you to stay informed so you could foster debate and argue with her. but she always wanted me to my own thoughts. she always wanted me to be my own self. she was a wonderful teacher. she means more to that to me. my father was sick and throughout the entire process of him being in the hospital, she
became a friend to me as well. i am eternally grateful for that. >> let me walk the other way. a lot of people back here have their hands up and think they will be left out. we are about out of time. >> i am from the state of kansas. i want to give a shout out to my teacher because for the past 10 years of the program, five of them have been for my school. it is really a credited to him. he spent a lot of time with me starting back in february of this year and pushed me to do model un, used in government, and eventually to help build my credibility to be here. he knew from the get go he had faith in not just me, but all of my students, and i think being the state i am, it feels like all the arguments are one-sided. he never fails to play devil's advocate, regardless who is speaking.
you bring appreciation to both sides without forgetting who you are in the process. >> i will get you all a's. you are getting them anyway so that was a joke. [laughter] >> i am from florida. my teacher that influenced me the most is my government teacher. he taught us last year how to question our own views, not just except what our parents say, but ask ourselves what we believe and look at the constitution and see if our views line up with the constitution. if it were not for him, i would not be here today. i want to thank him for giving me the love of politics and encouragingly to go for it. >> commander, why are you here? >> i am with the u.s. navy. myself and 16 other military mentors are here to help guide our 104 delegates from all 50 states, the district of columbia, the schools, to really look at all angles of an issue, to be able to discuss these things in a civilized, and compassionate, format. to exchange ideas, to encourage other, to build each other up,
and to work toward that bipartisanship that we all aspire to. anythingou learned from these students? >> they are smarter than i was at that age. >> thank you. hands up. >> i am with the department of defense education activity and japan. i am eternally grateful to my teacher for this opportunity. she has really helped to make my government accessible to me i am living halfway around the world. we had quite a few bumps in the road in my application process. i handed her the test i had to take. i said, i am not going.
she said, you will be fine. she is very encouraging and helped me immensely. she is the reason i am here. >> what would you say to teachers who have not gotten your attention as much as she has to make it better for students? >> it is very important. i moved around so much so i experienced teachers from a variety of backgrounds. the most important thing is to engage your students engage on a personal level. if you can connect with somebody, maybe make a friendship with them, what you say to them will have a better impact than if you are just this authority figure. >> in the last couple minutes, we have six minutes, i want someone who has not spoken to tell a young person out there who is probably 14 or 15, and
they are looking at you, saying, i want to do that, what recommendation would you have for them? >> i am from seattle, washington. one recommendation i would have is pursue anything you can find. there are so many opportunities out there. a lot of people do not look into them. that is why they do not get them. they are not searching for them. i like taking so much time out of my way just to make sure i am looking for those opportunities. make sure you are open to opportunities and make connections with people. form connections with your teachers. they have been around for a long time. they will know the ways you have to go to form connections the request back here. what is your name? >> austen van burns from salt lake city, utah. my piece of advice to young
people would be that they should absorb as many current events as possible. that means reading the newspaper or downloading the ap mobile app on your phone. there are so many ways we can stay connected. i do not have ap government at my school. order to prepare for this program, i had to study on my own. i found review materials on mine and i sat down every night after i finished my homework instead of watching tv, i studied government. i remember all the governments of the cabinet. i forgot all them now. do not quiz me. [laughter] at first, i thought i was lucky, but i worked hard for it. it is not luck. it is how hard you work. >> who is the president of the united states? >> president obama. >> thank you. >> i represent south dakota. be open to opportunities and things even if your chances are slim or you are not good enough, because you are and anyone can be. i would encourage everyone to try their best and work hard and you never know what you can accomplish. you can be anything. >> thank you. >> i am from washington d.c. do not look for instant gratification, and persevere
even when things and not going your way. >> take a jim carrey "yes man" approach to everything. see what you enjoy. >> who is that? >> the actor. >> ok. just checking. >> i am from rhode island. one thing john kerry said to us, he relate to less a story, when benjamin franklin left after writing the constitution, someone asked him if it would be a republic. he said, a republic, if you can keep it. the only way is if you know about it and if you know what is going on inside of it. that is the most important thing to do. >> i am from south portland, maine.
one thing president obama told us is that you should try to do something you are passionate about. if you pursue whatever you are passionate about and stay engaged in current events, you can learn a lot. >> are you as weird as the other guy from maine? >> as weird as him? [laughter] >> i am from ohio. i have a lot of interaction the younger generation and my school. as class president, i have the opportunity to speak to them often. there is one thing that really stuck out from what the administrator said this week. he said, be a lifelong learner. looking at the next generation, looking at those younger than us, i would definitely say be a lifelong learner. cannot take any opportunity for granted.
>> thank you. >> i am from new mexico. my advice is to just be passionate in everything you do. whenyou give up, that is you fail. when you succeed, there is no limit to how far you can go. that is a very american ideal to work hard and achieve those goals. >> what is the one place you will go when you come back here? >> congress to represent my state. >> that is a commercial. i cannot do that. >> i am from north dakota. my advice would be to work hard. school will not always come easy. there will be class is that will be a challenge. work hard. president obama give us advice to persevere, never give up, and pushed through. >> one more person here, i want to ask you to tell the audience where you are from and what your name is and what is the
united states senate youth program. >> my name is logan brown, and i am from kansas. the program is an amazing opportunity for 104 students to come together and learn about the government we will eventually lead. >> we are out of time. thank you so much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> for a dvd copy of this program call 1-877-662-7726. for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at www.q-and- a.org. "q&a" programs are also available as c-span podcasts. >> next, members of the british parliament offered tributes to margaret thatcher. then, from 1989, a look at c- span's very first televised prime minister's questions. after that, another chance to see "q&a" with participants in the senate youth program. >> on the next "washington >> .